I just got back from New York City where I walked my first half marathon on April 25, 2010 around Central Park. This marathon was put on by More Fitness Magazine and it use to be targeted at women 40 years and older. This year, I heard that they opened it up to all women.
To learn more about the More Fitness Half Marathon, go to http://www.nyrr.org/races/2010/more/index.asp
Friday, April 23rd
Friday at 11 a.m., there was a Trade Expo for us to get our bibs, shoe chips and of course, all of the great swag from our sponsors. Our Swag bags were stuffed full of goodies from the different sponsors. We also had the pleasure of wandering around the trade fair and picking up additional freebees, goodies and samples from exhibitors at the trade fair.
Saturday, April 24
Saturday night was the Pasta Party, which is a carb-loading event for women who chose to purchase a $40 ticket. We ended up having a little trouble getting from Filene’s Basement at Union Square to the event in time for our 6 p.m. seating, so we arrived about thirty minutes late. Just our luck, the only seats available were in the very front row at the Hard Rock Café with the elite athletes. Lucky us! We sat with two of the most prestigious runners in the United States – Colleen De Reuck, four-time Olympian and Sally Meyerhoff who recently qualified for the Ironman World Championships in Kona this fall. What a priviledge!
I happened to be sitting right beside Sally, who is a stunning red head with a warm, friendly personality. Colleen was across the table, so I did not have as much of an opportunity to talk to her. However, she was very lovely with a warm personality as well.
The food at the pasta party event was delicious, but sadly there was no time for mingling or networking, since there were meal sittings every hour.
Sunday, April 25th – race day
The half marathon started at 8 a.m. At 7 a.m., our group was looking nervously outside the big picture window at the front of the Sheraton watching the pouring rain come down.
“Should we walk to Central Park, or take a cab?”
“What the hell, we’re getting wet anyway.”
Before the race started, we were standing with over 10,000 women in the rain waiting for the race to start, and it was a sea of smiles grinning ear to ear. You cannot imagine the excitement and positive energy coming from this group of dynamic women.
When the race started at 8 a.m., the roar from these women was an incredible sound. We were off!
About 45 minutes into my race, I heard a bunch of honking and vehicles coming up beside us on the right. There were officials asking us to ensure we were far over on the left of the road, because the elite runners were coming through. A few moments later, both Colleen and Sally came running by us like we were standing still. What an amazing site! I was completely awestruck by their speed and grace! It is a site I will never forget. Sally won the racein 1:14:40 with Colleen right behind her at 1:16:26.
100 lbs each – wow!
I ended up getting mildly acquainted with some local women from New York City who were walking the marathon. I asked them if there was any special reason they were walking (since our group was walking for liver disease). Turns out, these two inspirational woman had lost 100 pounds — EACH. Not 50 pounds each for a combined loss of 100. Nope. 100 pounds each! Wow! I couldn’t resist asking, “how did you ladies do it?”. They said it was simple math.
1. Find out how many calories you burn for your current age and weight
2. Eat less calories than your burn
3. Count calories for everything that goes in your mouth
One of these lovely ladies shared her email address with me, and I am hoping that she will write me and share some more inspiration.
This trip, we had a mascot named Billy Rubin. He’s an adorable, plush (and quite large) yellow teddy bear. He was named afterBilirubin, which is a brownish yellow substance found in bile that is created when the liver breaks down old red blood cells. Since we are walking for Liver Disease, Billy Rubin sounds like a perfect name for this beautiful little bear.
Debralee Fernets from Canadian Liver Foundation is charting his journey on our marathon trips (think of the stories you hear about stolen garden gnomes) and she is creating a scrap book. Billy Rubin did come to New York City, and enjoyed being on the plane (pictures have been taken of him flying the plane and he was even given “wings” by the pilots), as well as at various events around the big apple. A good judgement call was made by Debralee to not bring him on the marathon. With the rain, Billy Rubin would have weighed a tonne. Isn’t a half marathon tough enough as it is?
What a day!
What an experience we had! I finished the half marathon in 3:59:48. To see the results of the 2010 More Fitness Half marathon, click here: http://web5.nyrrc.org/cgi-bin/start.cgi/aes-programs/results/resultsarchive.htm